2010

Background. Hope plays an integral role in health and illness and may assist individuals to cope in difficult and adverse circumstances, for instance when living with an illness such as chronic obstructive pulmory disease (COPD), which can demand continuous adaptation. Aim. This paper reports the meaning of hope in people living with COPD as described by seven participants involved in a home-based pulmory maintence program. Methods. Using an interpretive phenomenological approach a purposive sample of seven participants were interviewed to understand participants' experiences of the phenome of hope. An interpretative description is provided. Results. Thematic alysis revealed a number of themes, including that hope persists despite chronic illness and the unpredictable dilemmas of living with COPD. Many benefits were found to be gained from involvement in a home-based pulmory maintence program, including increasing exercise capacity, hope and wellbeing. Conclusion. Despite the limitations imposed by living with COPD participants revealed a determition to live as normal a life as possible. The pulmory maintence program was pivotal in assisting participants to improve exercise capacity, hope and wellbeing. Nurses may have a role to play in helping people with COPD maintain or regain hope.